Director: Garth Jennings
Cast: Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell
Spoilers Within: No
Originally posted 14th January 2016 on Letterboxd.
Since the early rumours of an adaptation, there has lived a prejudice that there could never have existed a competent cinematic adaptation of Douglas Adams’ surreal and quintessentially British trilogy (of five), but Garth Jennings pulled it off with his admirably all-inclusive, star-studded take on the sci-fi adventure.
Jennings presents a certain coherence to the absolute zaniness of the novels (though admittedly I found both forms hard to swallow) but it must be remembered when Adam’s sci-fi adventure was first published, and when the era of BBCThree’s homogenised surrealist trash was released. And though The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy evidently falls in with the latter in a sense of time, it’s certainly not nearly as interminable.
It’s quirky without being too idiosyncratic, entertaining without being too overstuffed, and certainly a lot more comic than you’d expect: even when considering the source novel. Though there is a sense of uncertainty brought to the mix with some truly wooden acting and some poorly conceived but disregardable story beats, it’s simply a carefree, charming adaptation of a completely ludicrous story.
If there were any joint British-American film to get a sequel, it’s should be this one. Or better still, how about that once-upon-a-time promised Spike Jonze version.